Neons, milk bars, socmodernist architecture- the system was oppressive but left many interesting souvenirs. Polish people just wanted to be modern. Restraints turned out to be quite stimulating. If you want to feel the vibes of these times, join us.
1. MONUMENTAL ARCHITECTURE OF PALACE OF CULTURE AND SCIENCE
Defilad Square 1, www.pkin.pl and near Konstytucji Square
Original architecture but most of all unique details of the interiors from the 1950s. Look for them in the Palace of Culture and Science especially in the Studio Theatre, Café Kulturalna, Kinoteka. The similar climate of socialistic architecture you will find at Konstytucji Square.
2. TREASURES OF DESIGN AT GALLERY OF POLISH DESIGN
National Museum, Al. Jerozolimskie 3, www.mnw.art.pl
The most valuable examples of post-war Polish design- porcelain, glass, furniture, toys, fabrics now as a permanent exhibition at the National Museum. More about the gallery here…
3. CZAR PRLu – MUSEUM OF EVERYDAY LIFE
Głucha St 3a, www.adventurewarsaw.pl
A real travel in time. You will see furniture and many other objects from the past. The museum organizes also a sentimental trip through Warsaw in Nysa – a Polish retro cult van.
4. HERRING, TATAR AND SHOTS AT LOTOS
Belwederska St 2, www.restauracjalotos.pl
There are only few such places in Warsaw where time has stopped. Most of these cult restaurants, bars like SPATiF or Mozaika has undergone some remake. Lotos remains the same. You can still drink vodka and eat herring in this unique interior with wooden paneling.
5. NEON LIGHTS
Neon Museum, Mińska St 25, Soho Factory, building #55, www.neonmuzeum.org
They are our treasure of the past. Neons didn’t advertise brands, but places or services. For example a globe – travel agency, cow – milk bar, flowers- flower shop. Additionally, big thumbs up to the typography. A vast collection of neons from the 1950s – 80s you will see at the Neon Museum in Kamionek. You will also see them outside in the city: the Orbis globe (corner of Bracka and Al. Jerozolimskie), a volleyball player at Konstytucji Square, mosaic at Mozaika Cafe (Puławska St 53). More about Warsaw neons you will find here…
6. DEPARTURE FROM WARSAW POWIŚLE AND OTHER STOPS OF WARSAW CROSS – CITY LINE
Kruczkowskiego St 3b
It is an exquisite modernistic architecture from the 1960s designed by Arseniusz Romanowicz and Piotr Szymaniak. Visit stations: Warszawa Powiśle (in the concrete rotunda that used to be a ticket hall, below the platforms there is a famous bar), Śródmieście or Ochota. We end our trip with the building of the Warsaw Railway Station Warszawa Centralna from the 1970s.
7. EVENING BEER AT AMOTORSKA, GRUBA KAŚKA, DOM PARTII
Amatorska – Nowy Świat St 21; Pod Grubą Kaśką – Solidarności St 68; Cuda na Kiju – Nowy Świat St 6/12, next to the de Gaulle roundabout
Cult beer bars from the communist times (although Amotorska has in its name “coffee bar”) still operate and lure youngsters. The climatic interiors remind us the times that passed. During summer we recommend an outside garden next to the Dom Partii. In the past, it used to be a headquarters of the Communist Party of Poland so coming closer was not recommended. Right now it is a part of the city that cheers and lives.
8. STROLL AMONG BLOCK OF FLATS AND RELAX AT THE ALLOTMENTS
ROD Waszyngtona, between Trasa Łazienkowska and Al. Waszyngtona, next to Kinowa St
Fans of modernistic block of flats would admire Corbusier like estate Za Żelazną Bramą (Behind The Iron Gate), Zielony Ursynów and designed by Oskar and Zofia Hansen Przyczółek Grochowski. You will relax and find peace at allotments. These are beautiful gardens in the centre of the city, full of greenery, vegetable plots, and interesting tiny architecture. You can walk down the alleys.
9. REPAIRS AT CRAFTSMEN
Time has stopped here. In these small places with antique signboards and shop window displays, they repair shoes, sew suits, gloves, lamp shades. Here you will find some of our favourite addresses…
10. LENIWE AT MILK BAR
Prasowy – Marszałkowska St 10/16; Sady – Krasińskiego St 36, Familijny – Nowy Świat St 39
Prasowy, Sady, Familijny – you have to visit these places. Besides, you will dine here well. Traditional meals- a tomato soup with rice, pancakes with quark, mizeria (a salad consisting of thinly sliced or grated cucumbers often with sour cream), pasta with berries. Moreover, for a dessert admire the interior design.
Photo: Aga Bilska and Filip Klimaszewski